This is a guest post by Ramanatha Sastry.D, Coordinator, Curriculum Research and Development Center at Podar institutions.
Generally, many of students have few learning gaps and teachers know it well where they are lagging behind.
With in school hours it is not possible to fill these gaps or to couch extra hours for slow learners. There are many ‘free’ tech tools available to help students without much difficulty and with little efforts on the part of teachers. Here I would like to suggest using ‘flipped class’ (FC) methods combined with “formative assessment’ (FA). Before going to elaborate on technology side, let us recap these two methods.
An assessment is knows as formative if and only if it forms subsequent learning. This is also known as ‘assessment as learning’. The point here to note is how the assessment outcomes are helping students to learn. The present day practices of small tests and class room verbal questions, even though termed as formative assessments, they are not helping learner with further learning process, so they cannot be considers as ‘formative learning’. Without feedback for further learning process, the assessment is only a compliance task, instead of learning activity.
There are few misconceptions on ‘Flipped classes ’, like replacing teachers with videos, students learning independently. Actually, it is students taking responsibility of their learning and every student get personalized guidance from teachers.
Please read the following on flipped classes and formative assessments.
(by ‘Googling’ you can get many such good resources.)
To help the students teachers can use online educational resources along with feedback on ‘formative assessment’ saves the teachers time to teach the concepts but to interact with them to provide further guidance. This will make teachers from the ‘sage on stage’ level to ‘guide to support’.
Let us see few online assessment tools:
- Flubaroo is one such to use along with Google documents. The assessments corrected and provided with analysis. Using the analysis, it is easy for teachers to understand the outcomes. If a particular questions is marked with a low scoring , then teachers knows to deal that concept in entire class, if particular question is missed by a small group of students, that group can be advised with a proper feedback including learning resources like text book topics or online resources.
- Gnowledge is other free tool with all the features mentioned above and facilities to share.
- Testmoz is a simple interface without requirement of login for teachers and students.
- Quizstar is a good resource for creating assessments with additional feature likes contacting parents by SMS and sending private messages, emails.
- Socrative is used to monitor their students’ response and progress in real time.
For flipped learning resources there are good number of online resources as discussed in the articles How to Help Students with Online Resources and Online Resources for Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century . Teachers can use the following resources to help students take virtual classes using the following free sites.
Once the 4G spectrum in telecom is rolled out by the year end, taking virtual classes is more easy. Teacher’s role is to make students learn without gaps, with deep understanding of concepts using freely available technological tools and effectively make a great difference in profession. Your feedback is highly solicited.
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